Inspirational Woman: Freya Rose | Founder, Freya Rose London

Freya RoseFreya Rose is a multi award winning British shoe designer.

Established in 2010. Renowned internationally for her innovative approach to couture shoe design, Freya Rose is fast becoming regarded as one of the UK’s leading shoe couturiers.

With an acclaimed jeweler as a mother, Freya grew up immersed in the world of fine jewelry. Her own innate sense of style and design using rare and valuable stones, is evidenced in her achieving a 1st class honor’s degree from the prestigious London College of Fashion in Footwear design. After graduating Freya went on to hone her design skills working for designers such as Gina and Tabitha Simmons.

Her philosophy was to create unique collections that incorporated her knowledge of fine jewellery; luxurious, jewelled shoes, using precious materials such as mother of pearl, brass and sterling silver. The shoes are hand crafted in Spain by craftsmen who have learnt their trade over generations. The ornate heels – that take around 20 hours of craftsmanship – are hand made by jewellers in Indonesia. Freya Rose supports a community where it has becoming increasingly difficult to sustain highly skilled workers, and is helping the survival of Indonesian traditional crafts as well as assisting with training in silversmith techniques. Working with two industries is a complicated process but ensures the shoes are unique and very special. Freya Rose also creates inspirational embroidery and perfected lines through the application of the highest levels of specialist technique in her London studio. Lustrous fresh water pearls, Swarovski crystal and shimmering Mother of Pearl heels are all components key to the brand’s core essence. A multitude of industry awards from the most reputable publications are representative of the calibre of Freya Rose’s timeless designs and her ever-growing popularity amongst press, celebrities and influencers including Kate Moss, Pixie Lott and Millie Mackintosh in 2017.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

Growing up with a renowned jewellery designer as a mother, I was immersed in the world of design. I had a natural affinity for shoes and chose to pursue my own career in design. I’ve now been creating shoes for around 18 years and I run my brand Freya Rose from my head office and showroom in Southsea.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I wanted to become a shoe designer with my own label, so I took necessary steps to get me where I wanted to be. I started by studying at the London College of Fashion, graduating with a First Class Honours degree in Footwear Design, then I went on to design for other designers and high street labels to gain industry experience, before establishing Freya Rose in 2010 with a £3k loan from the Prince’s Trust.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

My vision for Freya Rose was to use good suppliers and craftsmen that would execute my complex designs to the highest quality. It took some time to find just the right people to do this!

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

I would say my ability to translate my vision into reality. It starts with finding something that really inspires me and gets me excited – it could be from an art show, architecture I’ve seen on my travels or even a film. Then I’ll take a look at what’s missing from the market at the time. My collections are successful because they are carefully and considerately developed to ensure the end product is truly one of a kind.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I have so many interns that come into Freya Rose to do work for us. It feels great to teach and help new students learn about the fashion and shoe industry etc and many of them love learning about shoes and have gone on to do very very good jobs after gaining experience here…

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?

I feel like it is always male dominated companies that gain investment in to advance there companies etc and it would be good to see more female headed companies gain investment.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Don’t worry about what other people think.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

I am constantly pushing the boundaries in footwear design, and because I work with both jewellers and shoemakers, I am always developing new styles and techniques. Every season I try to learn and develop further, and this keeps me excited for every new collection.

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